Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Terri Teo

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information! 

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Terri is a fourth-year English Literature student at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. As our Exhibition Management and Programmes Intern, Terri assisted her supervisor, NUS Museum curator, Sidd Perez, in exhibitions and programming.


None of the above is me, they’re my intern buds.


That was taken during the second week of internship, and I am now writing this on my third last day of work. Time flew incredibly fast; it barely felt like more than a month, and I’m proud to have gotten to know the people I know, and do the things I had the opportunity to do. 


One of the things I appreciated most about my time with the museum was that I got to do more and try more than what my internship title suggested I would be doing, which was Exhibitions Management and Programmes. For one, I got to learn how cataloguing works, how to go about archiving past exhibitions—things you wouldn’t get exposure to should you not be part of a museum team. I appreciated given the chance to help out with documenting events and exhibitions through photography, which was very satisfying as I love working behind the camera; that was really cool of them to note, and let you make use of the skills you have and do things you might like to do.

One of the rare times I was in front of the camera on far left of which I have to include because our faces have to be shown somewhere in this post, understandably.

One of the best experiences I got out of this internship was being helping out with the Buaya Prep Room Project where I got to be involved with planning the Buaya Trail. It was a tour which took us to different spots in Singapore where crocodiles were spotted in the past and ended at Sungei Buloh to see live, wild crocodiles. Yes, we still have those in Singapore. Cue evidence below: 


Baby Croc! The trail was part of the Buaya project which visually charted the movement of human settlements from the early 1800s through crocodile sightings.

Going back to being given the chance to do things you might like to do, I think this was good fortune; I love natural history and animals on top of art and planning projects so working with the planning the Buaya Trail was pretty much all of that rolled into one, and it was very fulfilling. 

The second best experience I had (I had many great experiences) was being able to work on an upcoming (as of now) photographic project the museum is doing with photographer Stefen Chow. I appreciated this opportunity from the fore; I stated photography as an interest and passion at the start before I knew what projects were happening, and being put on this project made me deeply grateful that my curator placed me on a project that might be aligned with my interests. It’s pretty cool to feel like you are part of something bigger, especially with this project, Homeless, which aims to visually map the disparity between the rich and poor, and the increasing severity of refugee crises around the world. Being made privy to the planning process was a lovely experience no matter how big or small my contribution was.

And ultimately, that’s what I loved about this opportunity and why I would want to further pursue this as a career—knowing that you’re part of a bigger project that could change, if not affect at the very least, others’ worldviews through artistic or cultural projects. It definitely helped that the team was very understanding and accommodating which, again, was my good fortune.


But 10/10 would recommend. 

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